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How much fresh sage in turkey dressing?

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Last year I vowed that this year I'd use unseasoned bread at the start of my dressing/stuffing. I was tired of the overly seasoned dry, dusty packaged bread cubes produced by Pepperidge Farms and others. Since it's very hard to find packaged unseasoned bread cubes in my market, this year I bought loaves of bread from the bakery, had them slice them in two directions & dried them in a slow oven.

Now the question is, how much fresh sage should I use? About how many tablespoons/(teaspoons?) of chopped fresh sage should I use per ten servings?

I'm planning to use the fresh sage, parsley, thyme, salt & pepper to season my dressing. Along with sauteed onions, chopped celery and turkey broth made earlier this week. Any other additions?

Thanks, chowhounders & happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. Fresh herbs aren't as overpowering as dry - you don't need to worry about using too much unless you're putting cups of it in there. If you love the flavor of sage (as I do), I'd use at least 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh sage.

    2 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      thanks! That gives me a starting point - I'll start there & see how it tastes.

      1. re: nojunk

        Make sure it is finely chopped or you can get quite a resinous bite.

    2. You can't use too much fresh sage in homemade stuffing, though in my opinion you will also need to add some dried sage to really get the flavor going. I can't tell you how much, as I do it to taste, using fresh sage, dried powdered sage and dry rubbed sage.

      1. You need a lot of pepper, imo. I use only fresh sage but chopped very fine, start with 3 T.

        1. I just partially made stuffing/dressing that I am bringing to Thanksgiving and what I made sounds almost identical to yours! I posted recently about stuffing texture, etc. since I've never made it before:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878474

          I bought two loaves of crusty bread from my local grocery, cubed and air-dried them for a day. I just left it out over night and all day on the counter. :) Tonight I threw the bread in the oven at 300 for about 20 minutes, turned the oven off and let them cool down in there and they came out rock hard and really crispy!

          I also used fresh sage (just the leaves), about two tablespoons, fresh parsley, oregano and dried marjoram. Since this is the first time I've ever made stuffing, I erred on the side of caution with the sage and dried marjoram. I used a lot of chopped parsley though. I tried what I made and I found the sage and marjoram pronounced but not overwhelming.

          I did saute the herbs and spices separately in butter before adding it to the bread and onion/celery mixture. I also used a lot of minced garlic.

          In addition to onion and celery, I added chopped chestnuts. I bought jarred ones, not fresh.

          I plan to add stock and two beaten eggs at some point. I have no clue whether to bake the stuffing before taking it to my relatives' or mix everything together and bake it there. Or just finish it off tonight and get it over with. :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: mushroomaffairs

            Cook it before you go over. You'll be done and not have to worry about oven space and such

          2. I like minced fresh sage, 2 Tbl, a bit of fresh minced thyme, 1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley. I also sprinkle in some Bell's seasoning, not too much, maybe 2 tsp. I love using fresh sourdough that I've cubed and dried out in the oven. My extra additions: toasted slivered almonds, 2 baking type apples, peeled and diced, sliced fresh water chestnuts (they stay crunchy!) and, of course, sauteed onion and celery. I also sauteed some sliced leeks and finely chopped shallot and add chopped chives. I think the parsley adds a lot.

            Here's from Saveur:
            http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...
            http://www.saveur.com/article/-/Savor...

            1. You might want to consider blanching the leaves first for about 10 to 20 seconds. The flavor will be greatly improved by blanching, which leaches out the sharpness (unblanched fresh sage is too resinous and unpalatable). Just squeeze the sage dry before chopping the leaves for your dressing.